Northern Ireland Open snooker: Allen to play Joyce in first round

Mark Allen

Mark Allen has been drawn against Mark Joyce in the first round of the new Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.

It represents a tough opener for Antrim's Allen, 30, who has lost in four of his five previous meetings with his English opponent.

The tournament, part of a new Home Nations series, runs from 14-20 November at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast.

It sees 128 players competing for the top prize of £70,000.

The winner will be the first recipient of the trophy named after Northern Ireland's two-time world champion Alex Higgins who died in 2010.

Allen's match against Joyce will be in the evening session on Tuesday 15 November.

Ronnie O'Sullivan will face David John in the evening session on Monday with the victory meeting Jimmy White or Gareth Allen in the second round.

Belfast's Joe Swail will meet Dominic Dale while Northern Ireland's top two amateurs, Patrick Wallace and Jordan Brown, will meet Michael Georgiou and Ben Woollaston respectively.

Judd Trump plays former world champion Peter Ebdon, while English Open winner Liang Wenbo will be up against Nigel Bond.

Home Nations events

English Open:Liang Wenbo beat Judd Trump 9-6

Northern Ireland Open: Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, 14-20 November

Scottish Open: Emirates Arena, Glasgow, 12-18 December

Welsh Open: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, 13-19 February

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